The River King by Alice Hoffman ~ Fiction Book Review

book22This was a book I stumbled on completely by chance. The title didn’t speak to me, the cover didn’t call me, and I’d never read the author before, yet is somehow practically into my hands, and I was compelled to bring it home with me. I launched into the book and found myself immersed in a lengthy stretch of storytelling with no dialogue in sight. Although it wasn’t stream of consciousness, it reminded me very much of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, and I felt a moment of worry. A very looong moment of worry.

But then it made sense. The characters did things, they spoke, they interacted, and it was all colored by the shades the author used to create the setting. This initial stretch of writing did something that I rarely encounter – it created a very vivid, almost palpable atmosphere. Not the dark, stormy night kind, but a well thought, well executed foray into world building.

I wasn’t in love with the plot, although I did like the characters. They felt familiar, like I knew them and could understand the motivation behind their actions. I have a feeling that these characters will linger much longer in my memory than most. It wasn’t the most wonderful book I’ve ever read, but it was uniquely written and I feel like I gained a lot as a writer from reading it, and for that I give it 5 stars.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: